What do you say when the opportunity to represent your university at an epic event comes knockin’ on your door? Yeah, absolutely! I’m in. I was checking my emails when I came across the opportunity of attending to the Something Digital Conference. An epic event designed to celebrate our digital ecosystem and an opportunity to pitch and network with potential employers! How cool does that sound?
At first, I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew I have received sponsorship to go to one of the most powerful events in the industry!! After a meeting with our supervisor, I got my LinkedIn on point and my pitch ready for the big game!
Things happened really fast on the day of the event. We arrived and got ourselves checked-in and then we started to network. There were many stalls where the companies talk to you about their products and services. If you were lucky, they would give you gifts such as customized t-shirts, bags, water bottles and even a portable battery!! Out of those stalls, the ones that impressed me the most were Blackboard which uses Virtual Reality (VR) to make internal systems easier and DOMO which helps companies analyse data and make the customer experience better. Also, I got my water bottle and battery from them ;).
The whole day was hectic and quite packed. There were three main masterclasses and 2 workshops. Out of all these talks, there were 3 which, in my opinion, stood out. As a future journalist, I was really excited when I saw ABC journalist Angela Stengel talking about her podcast. She leads digital innovation and product development at ABC radio. She said the key to success in the new technological era, is focussing on growing new audiences through strategic experimentation and transforming the way we work. As a result of this, she has created a podcast that focuses on women and daily problems. You should go and check it out!!
I am now working as the Marketing Manager at a start-up, where we focus on bringing VR to aged care facilities. When I heard there was going to be a talk just about VR I got really excited. I had the pleasure of listening to Christina Lee, one of the three international speakers, who has produced two incredible projects for DreamWorks in the US. One of the projects is the ‘How to Train your Dragon’ experience. She is now currently producing two AR projects for DreamWorks Abominable and Trolls World Tour. She explained tiny details are very important in producing a fantastic VR experience. However, what surprised me the most was what she said about her kids. She said she doesn’t like her 10 and 12-year old kids to spend too much time in VR, as research suggests kids are not able to distinguish between what is real from what is not. Which is crazy!! She also added that in the ‘Train Your Dragon’ experience, people will come out saying they touched the dragon when the truth is they only saw virtual hands touching a virtual dragon. Our brain cannot distinguish between what is real from what is not. VR is the new reality!!
Finally, the third big highlight of the day came with Berit Anderson. She is also an international speaker based in LA. She talked about freedom of the press and shared the scariest experience she had when they wrote an article about the Russian elections. In less than a day, the article was deleted, and her website was gone! The whole digital presence they had been building for the past years was gone. The team had then to re-launch the whole website again.
I am really thankful to QUT for giving me the chance of coming to such an important event. I also encourage all students to keep an eye for this kind of opportunity. My rule is to always apply for everything and then decide whether you want to go or not.